Sunday, February 13, 2011

The First Poem

The first poem I ever wrote--just about three years ago and mentioned in our first post--was called "Night Writer." Since I only felt secure writing haiku, I linked five-syllable and seven-syllable lines into a "real" poem. It summed up the anxiety I felt about not writing, while feeling the primal urge I had to do just that. Maybe some other writers can identify with these feelings and actions (or inactions, I guess).

I submitted it to "Wanderings Magazine" and son of a gun if it wasn't accepted for publication. Still surprises me when I think about it.

"Night Writer"
So much of my best work is done
behind closed eyes
with covers pulled over my head,
waiting for sleep
to snuff out the day's misspent hours.
But in that time,
in the sweet near-sleep's breath and breath,
my artist wakes
and writes great tales in blackest ink
on darkest air.
I hear his words, unseen, unread,
and wish that I
could save them, memorize each line,
or capture them
in my nearby (empty) notebook.
But, lights turned on,
my artist and his words are gone,
the blackness unread, as penned in
milk on bed sheets.


  1. oh that last line, i know that. wonderful!

  2. this was a really good first write...excellent and thanks for sharing...pete

  3. It doesn't surprise me at all that this was published...I find my best words come just as I'm drifting off to sleep, so frustrating!

  4. Yes... to capture them takes practice in cultivation. I know of what you speak!

  5. 'penned in milk on bed sheets"--I know that would get me to publish it.

    I write like this all the time, but I use a tiny flashlight--somehow it doesn't interrupt like turning on lights--you're still in that darkness where the words live. Enjoyed this much.

  6. nice...hard to believe it was a first write and what a cool story to go with it as well...ha hedge and i were just talking about this...

  7. Words do seem to spark in the dark hours! Beautiful poem!

  8. Strange, Joe. One of my first poems two years ago, was on just this subject. Got published on Edinburgh's 'Carry A Poem' project site. Since my blogging started earlier this year, I have, probably not unexpectedly, discovered so many creative writers, particularly poets, have the same challenge. It's hard work really!

    Incidentally, this poem is good. You do have a gift; I am privileged to be associated with you.